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Stellar defensive plays help Brown shut down Phils

4/30/2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kevin Brown finally got support both
offensively and defensively.

Brown pitched seven strong innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers
got solo homers from Paul Lo Duca and Adrian Beltre to beat the
Philadelphia Phillies 6-2 Tuesday night.

Brown's effort was complemented by stellar defensive plays by
shortstop Cesar Izturis and left fielder Mike Kinkade, filling in
for Brian Jordan, who was home with a sore throat.

"I've lost games giving up bloopers. Tonight I gave up some
hard-hit balls and came out a winner,'' Brown said. "I don't know.
Maybe I've got a few years worth of good luck coming around.''

Brown, a six-time All-Star, was on the disabled list six times
in his previous four seasons with the Dodgers and was limited to 10
starts and 17 relief outings last year because of elbow and back
problems.

Izturis made a diving stop of Tomas Perez's grounder behind
second base in the fifth and made a backhanded flip to Jolbert
Cabrera, who caught it barehanded and just missed completing an
inning-ending double play.

In the sixth, Kinkade robbed Ricky Ledee of extra bases with a
diving catch on the warning track -- a play that was similar to the
one he made against Pittsburgh's Kevin Young in the second inning
of Sunday's 6-3 victory at PNC Park. Kinkade then turned around and
admired his work on the video board above the pavilion roof.

"This was one of the better catches I've ever seen,'' Lo Duca
said. "Kinkade just flat-out plays baseball. He gets it done
wherever you put him. He can hit and he plays defense with no
regard for his body. I couldn't believe how high off the ground he
was.''

Brown (2-1) allowed five hits, including a two-out homer in the
seventh by Mike Lieberthal, who hit three homers at Dodger Stadium
last Aug. 10 in a 10-8 victory. He fanned Pat Burrell, Jim Thome
and Lieberthal on 13 pitches during a 1-2-3 second inning and
finished with seven strikeouts and no walks.

"The last two starts have been good,'' Brown said. "The couple
before that, I felt like a walking zombie in comparison. It's just
nice to feel like a human being again and not walking around
feeling like you've got one foot in the grave.''

Lo Duca's one-out homer to left field in the third ended a
string of 20 consecutive scoreless innings by the Phillies' staff,
including Kevin Millwood's no-hitter on Sunday and Brett Myers' 3-0
win on Monday night.

Lo Duca opened the scoring against Randy Wolf (3-2) with his
first home run since last Sept. 27.

Phillies manager Larry Bowa got into an animated discussion with
third base umpire Ted Barrett in the fourth after Barrett pointed
foul -- then fair -- on Cabrera's infield single behind the bag with
one out and one on.

"He said he didn't do that. He said he was moving his hand to
get it out of the way. They have an excuse for everything,'' Bowa
said. "Everybody else is under the microscope whatever you do, if
you're a player or manager. And he's telling me that he didn't say
`foul ball.' Those 28,000 people saw him say 'foul,' then 'fair.'''

The call proved costly to the Phillies, as Izturis loaded the
bases with a single to right and Beltre scored on Brown's sacrifice fly to center.

Beltre led off the sixth with his first homer in 12 games and
third this season to make it 3-0.

Los Angeles broke it open in the seventh after loading the bases
for the third time against Wolf. Carlos Silva came on and hit
Cabrera with an 0-2 pitch, forcing in the Dodgers' fourth run.
Izturis, who was 3-for-4, followed with a two-run single.

Wolf, a local product who furnished tickets for 29 family and
friends, allowed six runs and 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings.

"I gave up a lot of hits and it hurt me,'' Wolf said. "The
homers were on two pitches out over the plate. I hung a curveball
to Beltre and left a fastball out over to Lo Duca. And with the way
Kevin Brown was pitching tonight, to give up two early runs and
then a third, that's a long way for us to go because he was
throwing the ball really well.''

Game notes
Burrell, whose fourth-inning bid for a two-run homer just
hooked foul of the left field pole, grounded into a double play two
pitches later. ... Wolf, who had the second-lowest run support in
the NL last season, got fewer than four runs to work with for the
first time in his six starts this season. ... Dodgers CF Dave
Roberts sat out for the fourth straight game because of a sore
right hamstring, which he injured running out a bunt single last
Friday night at Pittsburgh. ... Lo Duca's homer ended a streak of
11 games in which the Dodgers' opponent scored first.